US donors dig deep for restoration of ‘Scotland’s White House’

It is known as ‘Scotland’s White House’ and now American donors have dug deep to restore a special feature at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire.

Funds raised at a New York gala will go directly to repair the fountain at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. PIC: NTS.
Funds raised at a New York gala will go directly to repair the fountain at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. PIC: NTS.

Around $300,000 (£230,000) was raised at the annual gala organised by National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA earlier this month.

The money generated by the grand event, held at the Metropolitan Club overlooking Central Park, will be used to bring the fountain at Culzean back to life.

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Sculptor Andy Scott addresses the New York gala after receiving his 'Great Scot' award. PIC: Contributed.

The top floor of Culzean Castle was famously presented to General Dwight D. Eisenhower in thanks for his service to the people of Britain during World War II.

Eisenhower stayed at the castle during his time as president of the United States, earning it the nickname of the “Scottish White House”.

Mark Bishop of the National Trust for Scotland said: “The guests were really motivated to part with their money, knowing that there was a tangible project they had the power to make happen.”

Works by Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane and contemporary artist Jim Lambie were among lots sold during the night’s silent auction along with a miniature statuette of The Kelpies by silversmiths Hamilton & Inches and stays at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

A film screened to gala guests, which was presented by NTS president Neil Oliver, told of the success of last year’s fundraiser which directly contributed to the radical restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House at Helensburgh, which is now underway.

Since 2000, The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA has granted more than $9 million to preserve Scotland’s most significant heritage and history sites, from Glencoe to Glenfinnan, Culloden Battlefield and St Kilda.